SUSQUEHANNA: East Prospect, York Township tied at 1-1
- York Township won the completion of Game 1 on Sunday, 9-6.
- East Prospect rebounded to win Game 2 on Sunday, 7-4.
- The third-and-deciding game will be played at East Prospect on Tuesday.
SPRY — East Prospect's baseball team found itself in an unfamiliar spot on Sunday afternoon.
The Pistons, seeded second in the Susquehanna League playoffs, were facing a win-or-see-the-season-end game against seventh-seeded York Township.
East Prospect, which advanced to the finals last year, needed a victory, or the 2016 season would close in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Pistons, who lost the first game of the best-of-three series, 9-6, rose to the challenge and won Game 2, 7-4, to force a third-and-deciding game on Tuesday. The contest will be played at East Prospect beginning at 5:45 p.m.
"It was a little nervous for us," East Prospect manager Mark Toomey said following Sunday's victory. "Obviously, we were hoping to come out and get the first one (game), but they played very well. We're happy to get this one and roll into Tuesday."
The first game began on Saturday at East Prospect, but a thunderstorm rolled in and forced the suspension of play in the top of the seventh inning with York Township leading, 8-6.
The teams returned on Sunday and completed the contest with Township adding one more run.
The players and fans then got into their vehicles and the caravan headed for York Township's home diamond, McWilliams Field, and Game 2 of the doubleheader.
East Prospect made sure there would be a third game by jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the second game and never looking back.
York Township made things interesting by rallying for three runs in its final at bat, but East Prospect pitcher Hunter McVey's 136th pitch resulted in a game-ending second-to-short-to-first double play.
McVey struck out eight, walked five and a hit a batter. The right-hander checked Township on three hits over the first six innings.
"Hunter set the tone right from the get go," Pistons' teammate Ryky Smith said. "We gave him about a two-week rest because his arm was bothering him, but he looked fresh today, especially early on in the game."
Prospect broke on top in the second inning when Anthony Torreullas drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left field. Torreullas, who is in his first year with the Pistons, graduated from Christian School of York this year.
"That (Torreullas' homer) was definitely a start for us," Toomey said. "He came up big. He's a gap hitter, and he got all of that one."
The Pistons added another run in the second, and then put up two more runs in the fourth inning, with Smith supplying the big blow, a two-out, two-run triple to left-center field. Smith connected on a 2-2 pitch following back-to-back singles by Devon Strickler and Kyle Saxman.
"They were playing pretty shallow," Smith said. "I didn't get all of it, but I got enough of it. I've been due for a while so it felt good to come up with a clutch hit. We weren't tight coming into this game because we know we have a good team. So, we didn't put any extra pressure on ourselves."
Smith and Strickler supplied two hits each for the winners.
Andy Freeburger and Mike Wokulich responded with two hits each for York Township, which had the tying run at the plate when the game ended.
"We didn't quit when we got down (7-1)," York Township manager Robin Striebig said. "This team showed a lot of heart in coming back. We've battled all year. There were only a few games that we were out of this year. We were fourth in the league in runs allowed (among nine teams). We pitched well and had good defense."
Striebig wasn't certain who will get the ball for his team in Game 3.
"We used four pitchers in the first game and two in this game," he said. "I'll just have to take a look at the innings (pitched) for each of our guys."
Toomey, meanwhile, is leaning toward Seth Lefever for his Game 3 starting pitcher.
Wokulich led Township in Game 1 by cracking a three-run home run to highlight a 3-for-3 performance. Austin Martinez and Jon Snyder added two hits each for the winners.
LEAGUE PLAYOFF GAMES
Hallam 4, Windsor 1: At Windsor, Alex Tucci led the Express by throwing a complete game, striking out eight, including the side in the bottom of the seventh, and walking none. He also connected for an RBI double at the plate. Also for Hallam, Angel Matias went 3 for 3 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI; Dalton Renn went 2 for 4 with one RBI; and Dan Wecker doubled. For Windsor, Tyler Myers went 2 for 3, including a double, while starting pitcher Nate Booth threw six innings, striking out three and walking two. Regular-season champion Hallam has now tied the best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series at 1-1 and will play a deciding Game 3 on Tuesday evening at home.
Jacobus 5, Stewartstown 0: At Stewartstown, Casey Markey led the visitors by throwing a two-hit shutout. Teammate Eric Hamburger provided the offense by hitting a three-run homer in the fourth. Jacobus tied the best-of-three quarterfinal series at 1-1 and will play a deciding Game 3 on Tuesday night at home.
Red Lion 4, Conrads 0: At Conrads, Sam Deardorff threw a shutout to lead the visitors. For Conrads, Randy Stewart threw a complete game. Red Lion won the best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series, 2-0. Red Lion will face an opponent to be determined in the semifinal round.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.